Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, CBP launch new automated passport control kiosks
Getting home from an international trip has become easier and quicker for some travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) after ATL officials and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently unveiled 74 BorderXpress by YVR Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in the federal inspection stations in Concourses E and F.
APC is a self-service kiosk that allows travelers or family groups to submit their Customs Declaration and biographic information electronically and reduce the time they spend with a CBP officer. This has resulted in an average of 20-40% decrease in wait times at airports that employ APC kiosks, according to CBP.
Currently, American, Canadian and international travelers with Electronic System for Travel Authorization approval will be allowed to use the new system. The APC does not require pre-approval to participate and is free to use.
“We are excited to launch the Automated Passport Control system and are confident that travelers will be pleased with the faster processing speed through Customs,” said Miguel Southwell, aviation general manager. “This new initiative is a critical element in improving overall customer service at the airport and I’m thankful for the strong partnership we have with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency."
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection places a significant value on our public-private partnerships and we continue to collaborate on innovations to improve the international arrivals process. The Automated Passport Control kiosks are a prime example of CBP’s private sector partners taking a leadership role in purchasing and deploying a solution that is mutually beneficial for CBP, airline carriers, airport authorities, and international air travelers,” said Stephen Kremer, CBP’s port director for the Port of Atlanta.
The APC program was launched in May 2013 at the CBP preclearance facility at Vancouver International Airport; Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) pioneered BorderXpress. Since the launch, the program has expanded to Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway, Miami, John F. Kennedy, Dallas Fort Worth, Montreal, Toronto, Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, Houston, Seattle and Orlando international airports.
“We’re proud to pioneer innovative solutions that help airports throughout North America enhance the travel experience -- including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority. “With our product now implemented in ten airport terminals across the country, BorderXpress -- an Automated Passport Control System -- shows how collaboration with partners like U.S. Customs and Border Protection modernizes travel and reduces passenger wait times.”
Eligible travelers proceed directly to a self-service APC kiosk in the passport control area. Passengers are prompted to scan their passport, use the kiosk’s camera to take a photograph, answer simple biographic and flight information questions, and complete the standard Customs Declaration questions using the kiosk’s touch-screen. Passengers using APC no longer need to complete a paper Customs Declaration form. The kiosk provides passengers with a receipt that they then provide, along with their passport, to a CBP officer to finalize their inspection for entry into the U.S.
CBP processed more than 4.6 million international arrivals at ATL during fiscal year 2013.
APCs are part of a comprehensive strategy to optimize CBP’s current resources, the agency says. CBP continues to explore automation, innovation, sustainable initiatives and trusted traveler programs to streamline the traveler inspection process.